The Aikido Jo Kata in Four Directions
with Video Clips
The 31 jo kata often practiced by aikidoka, is normally done in two directions - most movements to the front, and a few to the back. In my dojo, we got the idea of making it shiho, four directions, like most kata with that many movements are in other budo.
It's fun for a change. Try it out, if you like - and if the photos and video clips are clear enough to figure out the movements. If not, then why don't you find out your own way of doing it?
The photos were taken by Patrik Orth in Zlin. The video clips were filmed by Johnny Petersen at Enighet dojo in Malmö.
Starting position. Jo in front of left foot, held by left hand. Body in hanmi gamae. Notice the marks in the floor, for directions of the following movements. The kata should stop at the same spot as it started from.
Chudan kaeshi tsuki, with a reversed right hand grip on the back end of the jo, sliding with the feet forward to the left.
Parry, warding off a jodan attack, feet sliding backward to the right. Follow by a second chudan tsuki, feet sliding forward to the left.
Turn 180° clockwise and raise jo to jodan in an uke nagashi parry. Shift hands.
Yokomen uchi, from right side, feet sliding forward to the right. Spin jo around in kirikaeshi.
Step forward to the left with the left foot. Yokomen uchi from the left.
Turn 90° clockwise, slide forward to the right with the right foot, yokomen uchi from the right side. Step forward to the left with the left foot, swing the jo around with kirikaeshi, yokomen uchi from the left side.
Turn 180° clockwise, one step back with the right foot, continuing the yokomen in a sweep downward to the right side. One step forward with the right foot, up with the jo in a high block.
Swing the jo around to yokomen uchi from the left side, shifting position of the feet (left forward, right slightly backward). Shift hands.
Draw jo with the right hand, then jodan tsuki.
Turn 90° counterclockwise, parry and swing the jo around for yokomen uchi from the right side, right foot stepping forward.
Slide back to the left with the left foot, draw the jo back to the left side. Turn 180° clockwise.
Gedan uchi (toward the knee). Spin jo around.
Gedan tsuki (toward the knee). Swing the jo around in an uke nagashi parry, counterclockwise.
Shift hands, and gedan uchi from the right side. Continue the uchi to the left side, and turn 90° counterclockwise, sliding back with the left foot, sitting down. Let the jo slide backward, so the hands grip at its front end.
Make a circle with the right hand grip of the jo, letting the left hand slide to its other end, stand up, chudan tsuki, stepping forward with the left foot.
Spin jo around with left hand, grab anew with the right hand next to the left, slide with the left hand toward the forward end of the jo. Ushiro chudan tsuki.
Slide with the right hand to the backward end of the jo, turn 90° clockwise and slide forward to the left with the left foot. Chudan tsuki.
Step back to the right with the right foot, slide with the jo to the right side.
Step back to the left with the left foot. Gedan uchi, continuing with the jo in a sweep upward, and jodan tsuki with a high position of the arms.
Spin the jo around. Jodan tsuki.
Turn 180°, raise jo to jodan. Yokomen uchi from the left side.
Let the jo slide down, shifting hands. End at the same position as at the start, the jo in front of the left foot.
I'm a Swedishwriter of fiction and non-fiction books in both Swedish and English. I'm also an artist, an historian of ideas and a 7 dan Aikikai Shihanaikido instructor. Click the header to read my full bio.